News for January 5

OZ rider tests positive -- 22 December 95

An unidentified Australian cyclist is facing a 12-month ban after failing a doping test. The Australian Cycling Federation is waiting for results of a second urine test before taking action. The cyclist, not considered a world class athlete, could face a two-year race ban in Australia and a one year international ban.

San Bruno Mountain Hill Climb record smashed

The 1966 racing season began in Northern California with a record- smashing climb up Mount San Bruno. Glen Winkel had set a record of 16:17 last year in this decades-old event. This year the organizers offered a special $100 prize to anyone who could set a new record. Winkel didn't return to defend his title, but six riders responded to the challenge by coming in ahead of the previous record! The winner was unattached mountain biker Dave Meyer, who finished in 15:02. I expect that more will be heard about him in other road events this year. George Mount, who has set a number of hill climbing records himself, worked as chief judge for this event. Spectators at the finish line enjoyed a spectacular panoramic view of the San Francsico Bay area under sunny skies with temperatures in the 60's. Included in the lead group, all of whom finished withing 45 seconds of each other, were two category 4 riders, who should be considered for prompt upgrading. The winner of the category 4 event was Dave McAteer of the Tecate team with an outstanding time of 15:23.

Tour of Costa Rica

The Vuelta a Costa Rica ended yesterday, with Colombian climber Raul Gomez winning the overall classification and climber's jersey. Gomez was brought in from Colombia to help Pizza Hut, the Costa Rican professional squad; specifically, to help Luis Morera and Federico Ramirez in the mountains. But when both cracked in one of the many hilly stages, Gomez was thrust into the leader's role.

Last year's winner, road racer-turned mountain-biker Andres Brenes (Ritchey), did not start this year's race. Veteran professional Jeff Pierce started the race, but I am unaware of how he finished.

The sprinter's jersey was won by Gianmatteo Fagnini of Italy, followed by Miguel Badilla and Skip Spegenburg (Pizza Hut).

Gomez becomes the 13th "beetle" (nickname for Colombian riders) to win the Vuelta. Costa Rican riders only managed to win two of the fourteen stages. Cuba, as usual, had strong sprinters and specialists for the flat and hot stages on the coast.


Raul Gomez          Pizza Hut   45:02:06
Federico Ramirez    Pizza Hut      @3:34
Santiago Amador     Credomatic     @4:18
Gustavo Wilchez     Musmanni       @6:38
Alex Barboza        Colombia      @10:07
Luis Morera         Pizza Hut     @11:55
Mario Fallas        Musmanni      @16:21
Jesus Nunez         Cuba          @25:02
Jose Robles         Pizza Hut     @26:32
Miguel Badilla      Camarasa      @28:16


Gianmatteo Fagnini   Italia    65
Miguel Badilla       Camarasa  51
Skip Spegenburg      Pizza Hut 40
Moreno Luissigni     Italia    30
Rigoberto Ramirez    Cuba      24

Premio de Montana

Raul Gomez          Pizza Hut
Alex Barboza        Colombia
Mario Fallas        Musmanni
Federico Ramirez    Pizza Hut
Gustavo Wilchez     Musmanni


   Indurain will not compete in the Giro because of a cut in the
   number of Banesto riders.

   Miguel Induran, five time winner of the Tour, in a meeting of the
   Banesto Team in a hotel near Pamplona (Spain), has admitted that
   one of the causes of the almost certain decision to not attend the
   Giro this coming season "It is the reduction of the team to 17
   riders". The Navaro cyclist has confirmed that there is little
   chance that he will compete in the Giro, and that the entire season
   will be geared towards the objective of winning his sixth Tour.

   Indurain arrived yesterday at the team meeting which began the day
   before, and which ends tomorrow, during which time various
   organizational work will be done, as well as physical checkups by
   three Italian doctors.

   The five time champion of the Tour said that he will follow a
   training schedule similar to that of last season, with a similar
   calendar of competitions. With regards to his possible retirement
   at the end of this coming season, he said that it will depend on
   his level of competition and motivation.

   With respect to the Giro de Italia, he stated that "It's
   practically already eliminated, given that the season is very long,
   that we are a team of 17 riders, and there are many races that we
   will have to skip. It will either be the Giro or Paris-Nice".

   Banesto has reduces its team for the coming season from 24 to 17
   riders, which will clearly influence its participation in the
   various races. "We could split the team in some occasions, but not
   in many, and the Giro is a problem, because if you do the three big
   tours, this is cutting things a bit fine." ["... porque si haces
   las tres grandes, luego es un poco justo."]

   The team directors Jose Miguel Echavarri and Esebio Unzue, which
   this year will be supported by the technical director Jose Luis
   Jaimerena, agreed upon the ten members dropped from the team, at
   the same time deciding to add the Portuguese Orlando Rodrgues, the
   Englishman Jerimiah Hunt and the Frenchman Damien Nazon. In spite
   of the restructuring, Indurain said that "the team is in good
   shape. The same base that we've had these past years is still
   there, those racers that have always been in the Tour, as well as
   the young riders that will be coming along strong".

   Indurain said with respect to his possible retirement that it all
   depends on how this coming season ends. "I have signed up for
   another year with Banesto. Last year went well, and what I like is
   to be in the shape I should be in, but there's a whole year in
   front of us."

   The cyclist affirmed that he would like to participate in Atlanta
   96, though it depends on his form after the Tour. Concerning the
   Vuelta a Espana, the cyclist said he will compete if he;s in good
   form and he's convinced he would play an important role. "But I am
   under no obligation to compete. The Tour is still the main
   objective of the season.", he added.

Rominger Will Not Compete in the Giro

   The Swiss cyclist Tomy Rominger will not participate in the next
   edition of the Giro de Italy in order to be able to better prepare
   for this coming Tour. This is according to the paper "Tribunal of
   Geneva". Rominger will try to win the French race, and will
   concentrate all of this efforts in this attempt, according to
   Giorgia Squienzo, owner of the Italian company Mapei, the racer's

Indurain, now the Yellow Jersey wants an Italian Doctor!

  Echavarri has contacted (Vroom Vroom) Conconi to replace Padilla who
  took off suddenly to look after the footballers of l'Atletico Bilbao

Pier Bergonzi reporting

     Miguel Indurain is half Italian already: his bike is a Pinarello,
     his gruppo is Campag, his shoes are Sidi, his jersey is by Nalini
     and his shades are Rudy-Project.

     Now the Navarese is looking for an Italian doctor...

     Wednesday, Jose Miguel Echavarri, Indurain's friend and Technical
     Director, met in Milan with medical and technical gurus from the
     team of celebrated Ferrari professor Francesco Conconi.

     "I am seeking collaboration with Casoni, Alfieri and Lodi - said
     Echavarri -. ] at least for a team get together which will be
     held in Palma di Maiorca in February. There will hopefully be
     some tests in Milan followed by a week at Pamplona. At the
     present time the Italians lead the world in sports medicine and
     training techniques."

     "A void has been left by Sabino Padilla, the medic who has left
     Banesto after so many years to take a position with the football
     club Atletico Bilbao. Sabino, who was Indurain's personal
     trainer, left without even mapping out the season", reported

     "So we have to find a new medic, either in Spain or in Italy, but
     probably from the University of Ferrara. As of now  Casoni,
     Alfieri and Lodi are being considered as our consultants."

Spaniard of 1995

  The Spanish Weekly, La Revista, a magazine published by the daily El
  Mundo, has named Indurain as "Spaniard of 1995"

  Second was Adolfo Suarez, president of the Spanish government.

  Miguel's other "first" was his modelling of the new Banesto jersey
  with the names printed on them.

Here is the 18 rider Russian Lottery team:

Roslotto-ZG Mobili, by country

     Italia: Maurizio Fondriest (30 anni), Stefano Cattai (28), Andrea
     Chiurato (30), Andrea Ferrigato (26), Marco Fincato (25), Mario
     Manzoni (26), Paolo Savoldelli (22), Daniele Sgnaolin (25), Marco
     Zen (33);

     Francia: Pascal Lino (29);

     Russia: Piotr Ugrumov (34), Igor Bonciukov (22), Vassili
     Davidenko (25), Viatcheslav Djavanian (26), Alexandre Goncenkov
     (25), Dmitri Sedun (25), Alexei Sivakov (23) e Juri Surkov (25).

     Presidente: Schiavon Giovanni.

     Manager: Moreno Argentin.

     Direttori sportivi: Massimo Ghirotto, Dario Mariuzzo e Nikolai

     Medic: Giovanni Grazzi.

     Masseurs: Silvano Davo, Andrea Montecchi, Piero Cesari e Sante

     Training Camp: 14 - 19 January at Capalbio.

     Official Presentazione: 24 January.

31 December 95 (Manchester, England)

     The promotion of the 1996 world track cycling championships (to
     be staged at the Manchester Velodrome from 28 August to 1
     September 96) has been taken over by the British Cycling
     Federation after failing to secure an agreement with Alan
     Rushton's Sport For Television company, federation officials
     reported this past Sunday.

     Ashton's company previously backed out of promoting the 1995
     British track championships and later cancelled its series of
     Superdrome track meetings. Rushton said it was not viable to
     stage the races at Manchester's indoor track because it only held
     3,500 seats. Rushton's company organised the U.K. stages of the
     '94 TdF.

Custom framebuilder Greg Fuquay on Aluminium Frames

     "Oh no!" It's the cry of aluminium builders everywhere saying:
     "Here's a dedicated steel builder who's going to lay a bum rap on
     aluminium." Not so! That's because most of what I know didn't
     come from traditional framebuilidng, so I have no cycle related
     material prejudices. But I have heard it said: "There are no bad
     materials, only bad applications..." Now that's true!

Aluminium is just another one of the three metal framebuilding
materials (I'm counting MMCs with aluminium here) and, like all the
others, it has its good points and its limitations. And to make a good
bike out of aluminium, you must know them both well.

Why choose aluminium?

Why do people want aluminium bikes? By far aluminium's biggest selling
point as a material is its density (weight). It comes out top of the
table in this important property. 0.098 lb/in3 compared to 0.162 for
3/2 S titanium and 0.283 for steel. So, if aluminium is one third the
weight of steel, why aren't the frames one third the weight of steel
frames? It's a long story, but here goes...

Part of the reason is modulus (stiffness, remember?) Aluminium is
roughly less stiff than steel by the same amount as it is less heavy,
aluminium 10 (106 psi) compared to steel 28.5 (106 psi). Another
property that levels the playing field is strength. 6061 T6 aluminium
(I'll get to the different aluminiums later) has an ultimate tensile
strength of 45,000 psi, which, compared to an average CrMo steel
strength of 160,000 psi, has a lower yield strength of 40,000 psi.
Hey! These two are pretty close together.

This brings us to fatigue strength, not a big advantage for aluminium.
It has no fatigue limit, meaning that any and all stress put into the
material will eat away at its life (remember that steel and titanium
won't fatigue below their fatigue limit). Its failure mode is pretty
drastic as well. Remember those yield and ultimate strengths that are
so close together? Not much room between when it yields (deforms) and
when it will break, so failures are more often breaks and thus a deal
more dramatic than just bending...

But aluminium's best attribute, density, comes to rescue it from its
shortcomings of fatigue strength and low modulus. Its density allows
us to apply more materials to the problem without a big weight
penalty. By oversizing the tube diameter and/or directing its profiles
to the problem areas, you'll overcome the material's low modulus and
stiffen things up. By stiffening the structure to the point of no
flex, you overcome the fatigue problems.

This is why aluminium frames are generally the stiffest frames around,
but also the reason why there are design limits.

What kind of aluminium?

There are three main classes or series of aluminium used in the
construction of cycle frames: 7000, 6000 and 5000. These numbers are
for identification only, and have nothing to do with 'rating'. They
simply have different alloying elements and thus different
characteristics. The major alloying elements for the various series
mentioned are 5000: magnesium, 6000: magnesium and silicon and 7000:
zinc. The most common 5000 series tubing is 5086. This is what
Columbus Altec tubing is. The high magnesium gives it good corrosion
resistance and it has good weldability.

It can't be heat treated, and this is where a division of opinions
arises. Proponents say this alloy is very tolerant to welding and has
good post-weld strength without artificial ageing (this can't be done
to it anyway). Opponents say the lack of post-weld heat treatment or
thermal ageing means it doesn't regain enough strength. My experience
is that with good design, 5086 can make a good frame.

The most common 6000 series is 6061, usually with a T6 thermal
treatment. This was THE aluminium tube, because it's the most used
structural aluminium in the aerospace industry, so is available in a
great many sizes and shapes.

Tough, weldable and with a good strength (for aluminium), its major
drawback for small builders is that it must have a complicated
post-weld heat treatment. This is usually done outside the builder's
facilities and can run into problems with alignment and control of the
process. And get it wrong, and things could get scary out on the trail
or on the road.

This heat treatment process renders the frame virtually irreparable in
the normal manner, welding, because the repair would wreck the heat
treatment and the repair area cannot be heat treated alone again. The
7000 series is gaining in popularity, as it has all the usual benefits
but requires ageing only after welding to bring its temper back. This
can, in most cases, be achieved at ambient temperatures over days or
weeks or be done artificially in an oven in a matter of hours. It can
also be repaired. Excellent examples of the 7000 series are Pace and
Easton frames.

Aluminium's limitations

So as one of the major framebuilding materials, why isn't aluminium
used by custom builders more? Its limitations mean that any design
must be worked out carefully. To get the most out of the materials,
this leaves little room for changing things for the customer's desires
or whims. Aluminium also needs processing and manipulation not found
in traditional framebuilding. As a material, aluminium lends itself
more to a limited production process. Aluminium delivers a certain
type of ride that doesn't suit everyone. Some love it, some hate it...
and that's what makes the world interesting.

But with the growth in the use of suspension systems, you can probably
expect to see more aluminium bikes. Its light weight and super
rigidity is a good platform for full suspension to work from, and the
double butting now coming into aluminium may help to overcome some of
its problems.

But as far as longterm strength goes, forget the labs. Let's see what
happens when these things are in the hands of the hard riding consumer
for a few years

Coming up: Steel - Titanium - Exotica - TIG welding